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Cisco Brings SecureX into Full Security Lineup to Cut Complexity

This step is intended to address growing enterprise concerns around security and complexity, both top of mind among CISOs and CIOs.

Cisco today announced plans to bring its SecureX platform into all Cisco Security products and introduced new capabilities to increase visibility, automation, and cloud-based email security.

SecureX is a cloud-native security platform first introduced at the 2020 RSA Conference. It was built to connect Cisco's own security products with existing enterprise security tools and, in doing so, increase visibility across endpoints, applications, networks, and the cloud. SecureX scans traffic from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and private data centers.

The platform debuted alongside Cisco's "2020 CISO Benchmark Report," which found many security leaders struggle with alert fatigue and other challenges when managing a multivendor environment. Eighty-six percent use up to 20 vendors. Of those who report alert fatigue, 93% receive at least 5,000 alerts per day and 17% report 100,000 or more alerts. Businesses with more vendors report longer downtime, higher costs, and more breached records after a cyberattack.

It's not only security leaders who are feeling the effects. Cisco's recently released "CIO Perspectives 2020" study found security and complexity are the top two challenges CIOs face. More than two-thirds surveyed feel they are being stretched too thin, Cisco researchers found.

"The challenge in the security industry is [that] we're not necessarily always helping," says Bret Hartman, CTO of Cisco's Security Business Group. Vendors are always creating new tools to buy and assemble, he adds, complicating the jobs of people who manage and protect them all. 

SecureX, which will be included in all Cisco Security products on June 30, is meant to simplify IT management and reduce the complexity that CIOs and CISOs often struggle to handle. The tool brings data from users' full security infrastructure in a single dashboard, as well as operational and threat metrics, to improve visibility across their network, endpoint, cloud, and applications. Administrators can customize this dashboard by choosing from more than 70 metrics.

Starting June 30, customers who buy Cisco Security tools will have SecureX built in. Existing customers can connect current products to SecureX and tell the tool what they're using so it can pull in the needed data. 

In addition to SecureX's availability in Cisco Security products, the company is introducing a few new protective features. One of these is Cloud Mailbox Defense for Office 365, which is built to provide threat visibility across inbound, outbound, and internal messages, with context to strengthen protection against email-based threats, including phishing, ransomware, and spam. The goal, says Hartman, is to not view email as a stand-alone product but bring the visibility into email-based threats together with data collected from network, cloud, and endpoint threats.  

Today's news also aims to aid security teams grappling with a rapid transition to remote work. SecureX is meant for security admins and users, the people who run security infrastructure for an organization. Admins can use the platform to enable remote work and improve access to security data.

"We've talked about the remote workforce for years," says Hartman. "Most customers are well down that path, but there are few that have transformed all the way." The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses in the middle of their transition to quickly adapt to a remote workforce and accelerated any security concerns that played into the decision to support remote workers.

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